54 – Tracking Your Meetings

Thanks for tuning into the Scale Your Small Business Podcast with your host, Jillian Flodstrom. This week, we’re talking about organizing your board meeting minutes. This important step keeps a record of both the short and long-term planning that you’re doing, and having those notes organized will save you time and trouble in the long run. So, let’s break down how you can calm that chaos.

Before starting the meeting, it’s always a good idea to have your notes planned out ahead of time–make an agenda on a Google Doc that you can copy/paste and fill in detailed items. This is to say, have the template for your agenda ready to go so you can add in the rest as needed. Include time, date, attendees, topics, and anything else you think is important for every agenda.

If you have the option, recording your meetings and transcribing them can ensure you’re including every detail, so if someone were to only look at the notes, it would be as effective as being at the meeting itself. When there are main pillar points of a conversation, be sure to note the sides of the discussion, and who is for/against certain points. Additionally, note any corrections or annotations, and make sure that your quorum is met–that means you have a certain number of people required to attend the meeting in order to approve or allow decisions to be made. That information is detailed in your company bylaws. Of course, you want to notate any motions or rejections, specifically if there’s any voting that’s happening.

Talk about any actions that are going to be taken or actions that are going to be taken in the future, also any next steps in relation to any projects that you’re discussing, any items that need to be held over or discussed for the following meeting, any new business, as well as open discussion, or if there’s any last minute adjustments that need to be made to any project or anything that was mentioned throughout the meeting.

For each agenda item that you discussed during this meeting, you want to write a short statement of action that was taken by the board, along with a brief explanation of the rationale for their decision. If there is an excessive amount of discussion, make sure that you keep that succinct and clear. Remember, someone might be coming to look back at these meeting notes far after this meeting and you want to make sure it’s easy to understand.

Make sure that you’re recording these discussions objectively. You want to avoid putting your own spin on it. And if there is a heated discussion, make sure that you try to keep that as neutral as possible. A good way to do this is by avoiding adjectives or adverbs.

Because the board has legal liabilities, you want to make sure that the information is basic and the language is clear and easy to understand so you avoid any legal complications if for some reason, these notes were ever used in a court of law.

Take a PDF of those meeting minutes and save them in a safe place like DropBox. That way, in case anybody ever needs a copy of it, I have quick and easy access to it.

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